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Protests mount to cuts in translation services in the Netherlands

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4049 (Published 27 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d4049
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. 1Utrecht

Plans by the Dutch health ministry to axe funding for translation services have sparked an international outcry, with dozens of experts in care for migrants and people from ethnic minority groups backing an open letter calling the decision “incomprehensible.”

The signatories write that it is “incredible” that the Netherlands was considering such a “huge step backwards,” as the country is currently held up as an example of good practice. Many countries were inspired by the Dutch and the “farsightedness of policy makers in your ministry 35 years ago,” they say.

The health minister, Edith Schippers, announced last month that central funding for translation services will cease …

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